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27 Jun, 2012 19:05

Divers claim 'Baltic UFO' shuts down all electronics within 200 m

Divers claim 'Baltic UFO' shuts down all electronics within 200 m

A strangely-shaped object at the bottom of the Baltic Sea has been interfering with the electrical devices of the Swedish diving team that is trying to film it. But critics are growing more skeptical about the long-running mystery.

The Swedish Ocean X treasure-hunting team first discovered a mystery object reminiscent of the Star Wars spaceship Millennium Falcon last year.But they didn’t have the resources to investigate. Now, they have returned with top-of-the-range 3D seabed scanners and a submersible – all funded by a secret sponsor.

They are trying to film it but as soon as they get close, they are foiled.“Anything electric out there – and the satellite phone as well – stopped working when we were above the object,” Stefan Hogerborn, the expedition’s lead diver, told Swedish channel NDTV.“And then we got away about 200 meters and it turned on again, and when we got back over the object it didn’t work.”The discovery itself is described as a round object resembling a “huge mushroom.” On top of it is an “egg-shaped” portal. The team said that a 300-meter trail that “can be described as a runway” stretches out from the site of the “spaceship.”The team has not been shy to speculate about what they have seen.“It's a meteorite or an asteroid or a volcano or a base from, say, a U-boat from the Cold War which has manufactured and placed there – or it is a UFO. Well honestly, it has to be something," says Dennis Asberg, one of the Ocean X team.The electric interference seems to confirm that the object is by no means ordinary.

Skepticism grows louder

Not everyone appears convinced.Critics have accused Ocean X, who are professional wreck-hunters, not oceanographers, of poor science and incessant attempts to court publicity in order to secure funding.Hanumant Singh, a researcher with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, told US magazine Popular Mechanics that the original “Millennium Falcon” image that sparked the media firestorm was taken using a cheap and incorrectly-calibrated sonar.Charles Paull, a senior scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Moss Landing, told the same magazine that bizarre but relatively common formations can be created by gas and fluid leaks from underneath the seabed.As to the signal interference, it does not appear to have been a consistent phenomenon, since there appears to be extensive footage taken within several feet of the mystery object. And even if it did occur, there are plenty of underwater materials that interact with sensitive electronics.Ocean X denies charges of publicity-seeking.“First we thought this was only stone, but this is something else. And since no volcanic activity has ever been reported in the Baltic Sea the find becomes even stranger,” claims Peter Lindberg, the Ocean X team founder.Ocean X is currently planning commercial trips for tourists to see the “underwater UFO” in its new submersible.